Behind a low-slung building in Zelienople, Pa., stands a towering mechanical structure where Deep Well Services trains employees in the highly specialized work of completing fracking wells for natural gas. It is well-paying and, until recently, growing work. The company went from 25 employees in 2008 to 450 last year.

Then, the pandemic clobbered demand for oil and gas, drilling slowed to a crawl, and Chief Executive Mark Marmo had to lay off about 100 people. Whether growth resumes, he said, depends on the pandemic, and next week’s election. If Democrat Joe Biden becomes president, he predicts increased regulation “will slow things down drastically.”

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